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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Projects > Animal Science > Dairy

Dairy Project

Explore the dairy industry, from raising a cow to dairy science and ethics to manufacturing and marketing dairy products. Topics include dairy cattle breeds, nutrition, feeding, identify parts of dairy cattle, desirable traits, stages of calving and care, and grooming and showing. Cows may be owned or leased.


red and white holstein and red haired girl

Be a Dairy Project Development committee member. Youth Dairy project members will be selected to serve on the Dairy Project Development committee. This group comes together to evaluate the status of the dairy project, hear committee reports and recommendations and plan for future programs and activities.  Several sub committees function as well to make sure the dairy program continues to move forward.

Youth applicants must be 9th grade or older, complete and submit application by September 15, 2017 Word version - PDF - fillable version

Additional details about committee assignment

Application due September 15, 2017

Important project information:

To view county or local club events, visit the county website.

View all 4-H events

Livestock Quality Assurance & Ethics Training

All youth participating as a State Fair 4-H livestock exhibitor in beef, dairy, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbit, meat and dairy goat, and lama must have completed the Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics workshop. Certification is good for three fair seasons. The level of training required is determined by the grade of the youth at the time the training takes place.

Dates and locations vary by county. Check this list for more information.

Minnesota 4-H Science of Animals

Science of Animals at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair is designed to expose 4-H animals project youth to the many dimensions of the industry.  4-H youth will attend and participate in an educational session prior to the judging. Science of Animals is offered in one of 4 topic areas – Animal Health, Breeding, Production and Other, for all livestock species – Beef, Dairy, Dairy Goat, Meat Goat, Poultry, Rabbit, Sheep and Swine More info.

Minnesota 4-H Dairy Showcase: Honoring Blue Ribbon Kids

This event recognized overall achievement of Minnesota 4-H Dairy Project exhibitors that have demonstrated year-round participation within 4-H and the dairy industry including:

  • success with the animal
  • knowledge of the dairy project and industry
  • involvement within 4-H and dairy communities
  • activities in school, church and community
  • More info

National 4-H Dairy Conference

200 youth from 4-H dairy projects around the U.S. and Canada gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the National 4-H Dairy Conference held annually in conjunction with World Dairy Expo. Participants learn about production, processing, marketing and use of dairy products, and develop a broader understanding of careers available in dairy production, biotechnology, genetics, marketing and other areas. The conference consists of participatory workshops on the University of Wisconsin campus, speakers, tours and visits to the World Dairy Expo. More info

4-H Regional & State Project Bowls

Project Bowls are an exciting way for youth to explore a project area. Teams compete in quiz competitions with questions about specific project areas. Project Bowls are available for Dairy, Dog, General Livestock (Beef, Sheep & Swine), Horse, Poultry, Rabbit and Wildlife projects. Winners of the regional bowls advance to the State Project Bowl. More info

4-H Animal Judging Contests

Effectively evaluating breeding and market animals is highly important in the animal industry. Judging is an art developed through patient study and long practice. 4-Hers interested in Dairy, General Livestock (Beef, Sheep & Swine), Horses, Poultry, and Rabbits can learn to be a good judge by knowing the parts of the animal and their location, which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production, making keen observations and comparing to the ideal, weighing the good and bad points of each animal, and much more. More info

  • Check with your county for local county judging contests.
  • State fair contest details in the State Fair Premium Book - Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul

Minnesota State Fair

4-H plays a pivotal role in youth development and public education at the Minnesota State Fair. Over 7,000 4-H youth have the opportunity to interact with the public and educate fairgoers through 4-H exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and 4-H promotion. More info

Level 1 Learning Goals:

Learn about dairy parts, breeds, cost of raising cattle, how to care for your dairy animals and more.

Level 2 Learning Goals:

Explore Dairy judging, identification, ethics, animal health, management practices and more.

Level 3 Learning Goals:

Gain an understanding of selection and management of dairy, reproduction, breeding, marketing, careers and more.

Learning resources for all levels:

Other online resources


To get involved with the 4-H Dairy Project, contact your county 4-H office.

Marcia Woeste, Extension educator

All resources on this page have been reviewed by our faculty and included for their educational value. No endorsement is intended or implied. Minnesota 4-H does not profit from the inclusion of any commercial project resources.

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